Mumbai: India will impose 40 per cent export duty on onions with immediate effect up to December 31 in an attempt to improve domestic availability of onions, the ministry of finance said in a notification on Saturday.
The export duty comes amid reports that onion prices are likely to rise in September.
Earlier on August 11, the central government started releasing the staple vegetable from its buffer stock.
Buffer stock is maintained to meet any exigencies and for price stabilisation, if rates go up significantly during the lean supply season.
Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary Food and Public Distribution Department in a meeting on Thursday with the Managing Directors of the government’s agricultural marketing agencies - National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF) - finalized the modalities for disposal.
“It was decided to release the onion stocks by targeting key markets in states or regions where retail prices are ruling above the all-India average and also where the rates of increase in prices over the previous month and year are above the threshold level. Disposal through e-auction and retail sales on e-commerce platforms are also being explored,” a food ministry release said Friday.
Rabi onion harvested during April - June accounts for 65 per cent of India’s onion production and meets the consumer’s demand till the Kharif crop is harvested in October-November.
The procured stocks are usually released through targeted open market sales and also to states and Union territories and government agencies for supplies through retail outlets during the lean supply season.